Disclaimer: this post is in two parts. The first is a major update on my life. I understand if that’s boring to you. The second part is the actual recipe explanation. Because I care about you all, I am putting in the following jumps: The beginning of the recipe and the condensed recipe for those who don’t want read at all but want an awesome salmon recipe. Enjoy!
A lot can happen in the span of a few months. In my world, two big things happened.
First, I moved to Chicago. LSF decided to enhance his legal career and do an extra year of law school (JOYOUS!) to do a masters in taxation law. I am bored writing that sentence. However, Chicago has been the single greatest move I have ever made in my entire life. I love everything about this city: the people, the food, the shopping, the architecture, the neighborhoods, really, seriously, everything. And so far, no bad weather! A bonus! So I have been very busy exploring and taking in this marvelous place that is the 3rd largest metropolitan area in the country.
Second, and more sadly, I have been diagnosed with a multitude of adult onset allergies. You see, for a very long time I would go through stretches of being sick to my stomach after I ate. I thought I was getting food poisoning all the time. Lately, though, the stretches had been lasting longer and longer (weeks instead of days) and getting worse. I didn’t know what was going on and I couldn’t make them stop. Finally, I overcame my deathly fear of doctors. Though the doctor was convinced it wasn’t allergies, she sent me to get tested just to rule it out on the slightest of off chances it was, in fact allergies.
Boy was it ever.
The first go around I came back essentially allergic to everything. I was told to eliminate everything on the list as best I could, and then go back in a month or so to get re-tested when my body wasn’t being so reactionary. So I went for about a month asking every waiter the most annoying questions possible about every single food (since my allergy doctor in NC gave me some REALLY bad information about certain foods and what contained allergens and what didn’t), and then got re-tested.
The news wasn’t much better, but the number of foods had gone down a lot. The only problem was that now that my body wasn’t used to any of the foods I am allergic to, any time it’s exposed my reaction is even worse.
So now, here are the foods I am officially allergic to:
- Peanuts (any exposure at all, even smell now, will start to close my throat. It’s scary. I have to carry an epi-pen with me at all times.)
- Corn (yes, this includes high fructose corn syrup – little known fact: CORN IS IN EVERYTHING. This is the least fun allergy ever.)
- Tree nuts
Admittedly, it’s a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff. But there are some cool rules for corn and soy like if it’s not in the first three ingredients, it’s ok. So pizza is still ok, even though it’s dusted in corn meal. (PHEW!) However, a lot of my recipes are now completely out of the question, such as Peanut Sauce Noodles (those would LITERALLY kill me now, as it is basically only peanuts and soy noodles), Slow Cooker Chicken Chili (though this would only require a slight tweak), and some others.
So I’ve learned to cook again. And read labels. And re-think diets altogether. But the thing is, though, I feel better. And that’s worth any amount of hassle I’ve gone through. It’s a relief, and it’s what I had been waiting for. I just didn’t know it.
So my recipes will be different now, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be delicious (in my own humble, obviously). And my first corn-soy-peanut-tree nut-free recipe is a gem I’ve had for a long time: salmon baked in foil. This is subtitled: salmon that will make you look and feel like a genius. Because it will. It’s so simple and so easy you will be astounded it tastes the way it does. I originally got this recipe from Giada and LSF requests it all. the. time. So make it for a loved one, or yourself! It’s totally scalable, which is another reason I love it.
First, the cast of characters:
5-ounce salmon fillets (the recipe calls for 4, but there are only two of us, so I only bought 2. I’m also slightly a hippie and so I got the “real” wild salmon, not farmed.), 1 lemon, 2 shallots, dried oregano, dried thyme, 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Seriously, SO EASY. Oh and (not pictured) olive oil. Will I ever take a picture of ingredients without forgetting something? Not likely.
Preheat your oven to 400°.
First, get big pieces of tin foil and plop the salmon on it. Drizzle a little olive oil, salt, and pepper onto the fillet. It should look like this.
Then twist two sides up so you kind of make a little “boat” for the salmon to be in.
Keep the other two sides open; you’re basically making a bowl for the salmon to bake in and hold the next mixture in.
Next, chop up the shallots…
A note on shallots: I consider them to be the Tom Hanks of ingredients. They’re not for every dish, and there’s no guarantee that it’ll be the greatest dish ever made, but darnit all, your dish is almost guaranteed to be fantastic. Just like Tom Hanks and his movies.
I like Tom Hanks. A lot.
…moving on. Drain your tomatoes and then add them to the shallots. Then add the juice of half of your lemon, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, about a tablespoon of olive oil, and some salt and pepper. It’ll look something like this.
Add this mixture to the salmon fillets in their little foil boats. Because I didn’t have 4 salmon fillets, I didn’t add in all the mixture, but you could. There is more than enough if you have 4, or if you only have 2, you get a little more tomato mix. Don’t worry, be happy!
See what I mean about the boats? This is why.
If you haven’t already, put these little foil boats on a baking sheet and then (this is important, now) seal them up. They’ll end up looking like this.
I probably used too much foil, but life goes on.
Put these suckers in your 400° oven for about 25 minutes.
I served mine with some potatoes I had roasted for about an hour or so and some steamed green beans. I put the foil pouches right on the plate. Channeling Chandler Bing here: could this BE any easier or more delicous?
90s references for the win.
Anyhow, there’s the recipe all ready for you to go. I hope you enjoy it!
From Giada and the Food Network: Salmon Baked in Foil
4 (5 ounces each) salmon fillets
2 teaspoons olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained
2 chopped shallots
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sprinkle salmon with 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir the tomatoes, shallots, 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.
Place a salmon fillet, oiled side down, atop a sheet of foil. Wrap the ends of the foil to form a spiral shape. Spoon the tomato mixture over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the fish and tomato mixture, covering completely; seal the packets closed. Place the foil packet on a heavy large baking sheet. Repeat until all of the salmon have been individually wrapped in foil and placed on the baking sheet. Bake until the salmon is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the foil packets to plates and serve.